Windows 10 is the latest offering by Microsoft, and it’s a bit like Marmite in the UK: You either love it or you hate it. I personally love Windows 10, and did not like Windows 8 very much at all. The Windows 8 start menu was just a terrible idea, and I just did not like the overall UI. Windows 10, however, runs fast, performs well and is just generally pleasant to use.
Ubuntu is, as I have already touched on, a free and open source OS by the good folk at Canonical. It is free, lightweight and very simple to use. The UI is pleasing, the taskbar is a joy to use and it is fast.
Windows 10 was released in the latter half of 2014, with its consumer release in mid 2015. One key component is the ‘Universal Apps’ which are designed to run across many Microsoft products, including PC’s, embedded systems, Xbox One and many more. The UI has a so-called Tablet Mode, which gives you the familiar mobile/tablet-like start menu that was found on Windows 8. It supports fingerprint and even face recognition for login, which is pretty neat.
On my computer, a rather unremarkable Dell with a 500GB HDD and 4GB RAM, Windows 10 has a pretty impressive boot time of around 30-45 seconds.
Ubuntu is a Debian-based Linux OS, supporting computers, tablets and smartphones, although this is the Touch edition, and also runs on network servers as the Server Edition. Canonical Ltd create and provide support for the software, which is called Lifetime Support when you download it, and it uses Unity as its main Graphical User Interface. Canonical are UK based, and they sell technical support and other Ubuntu-related services, but there is also an option to donate when you download. The donate feature is good, as you can choose what to donate, and it tells you what that cost would relate to, for example it may compare it to buying a cup of coffee.
The Ubuntu project is committed to the principles regarding open source software, meaning they encourage people to use it, learn how it works, make some improvements on it and then distribute it.
So what is it like to use? Extremely nice. It has a nice UI, simple to use and a comprehensive app store. It comes with Mozilla FireFox as standard, but that can be changed to Google’s Chromium browser. More advanced things can be done through terminal, but I won’t be going into that as the general user probably won’t need to access these functions.
How do they compare?
From boot, Ubuntu is faster and has a much more aesthetically pleasing log in screen. The amount of software that supports Windows is seemingly endless, whereas unfortunately not as many companies support Linux-based systems.
For gaming, Ubuntu does not support most games to my knowledge, where Windows does. For word processing, using Apache’s Open Office works perfectly on Ubuntu, as it does on Windows. Browsing is also just as easy on Ubuntu, using any of the previously mentioned browsers.
Do I recommend Ubuntu, or is Windows 10 the best?
The simple answer is, for a general use computer, I can definitely recommend Ubuntu. For daily browsing, word processing and other general home or small office work, Ubuntu is fantastic.
For anything more advanced, for example graphic designing, video editing and rendering, and gaming, Windows definitely comes out ahead.
You should absolutely NOT delete Windows and install Ubuntu on a whim, do your research first and see if Ubuntu could really benefit you. However if you have a new hard drive and don’t have the funds to buy Windows yet, Ubuntu will probably be your best bet as a placeholder.